Bring Hunger To Light.

In April 2013, James Madison University hosted a Startup Weekend, a 2 1/2 day energetic event with an end goal that by Sunday afternoon you and your newly formed team will have gotten a good jumpstart on your agreed business idea.

CHALLENGE: Do something that matters. The number of American poverty-stricken families is on the rise. What ideas can immediately help those suffering from specific problems within our own communities, and can we establish branding in such a way that we can one day have a significant effect on economic inequality by combating it from many angles? Got to think big....

STRATEGY: Simplify interactions dealing with societal and economic issues.
First we thought, all we got to do is make something people would want that relates to a specific cause and generate revenue that goes towards that cause. Then we decided that if we eventually wanted to actually tackle an immense subject such as social inequality, then we need to simplify our approach with a brand that directly attributes real local issues to something that fuels action and is catchy. Everyone has a burning desire to act when it comes to certain issues, widespread problems that our very own neighbors struggle with. Issues that get so heated with emotion they catch fire. Feed the Fire.

What can help us get this idea started?

With a name like Feed the Fire, we decided to begin by going after the issue of hunger, especially when we learned that it is one of the real problems that is standing out more and more within American families. This will be our main area of focus in everything we do, and will hopefully be a launchpad for even larger economic impact in the future.

A can can. Knowing that one simple product can power change, and one thing that people need is food, we decided to utilize the potential of something like an empty canned food tin can. Making candles. Feed the Fire Candles.

first official candle made during Startup Weekend, and the paragraph from the label:

Because the tin cans maintain durability & quality they could be repurposed the way we wanted, and with them being inexpensive we were granted free access to hundreds of them with each visit to the Rockingham County Landfill so we could afford to not only get Feed the Fire off the ground, but effectively meet our initial demand.

When it comes to hunger, an empty canned food tin can represents not only a void, but possibilities and fulfillment. It becomes iconic in our movement against hunger. All the while our commitment to being "green" by using 100% soy wax and 100% post-consumer materials, ensures that we don't add to one problem while trying to solve another, giving supporters even more to stand behind, who may have already been on board just for the cause alone.

Industry Analysis for candles in containers indicates it's a 1.6 billion dollar industry, it has shown a 0.9% growth over the last 5 years, with a projected increase of 1.9% in the next 4 years.
Competitive Analysis suggests that we can establish our own place in the market.


Marketing Strategies
Phase 1- Maintain the bootstrap business startup method with low budget marketing, having a strong social media presence, showing our heavy community involvement for our cause of hunger, thus establishing that trust and credibility of our charitable donations through transparency. Build awareness of our candles as much as we can and learn who our specific target market is over the course of a few months.

Even during Startup Weekend, we already were being asked to be highlighted by media covering the event.

daily news record article



...we also have a feature article expected to come out soon from The Gazette, the Lexington, VA local newspaper.

Roughs & Label Versions over the course of Phase 1:

CANDLES available in 8 different scents! Plus Citronella for the summer!
Logo / Identity / Art / Events / Posters / Collateral / Flyers:


By making candles for sale in food insecure areas (and there are more than expected) we can give people a more accessible way to act, those in favor of benefitting the people LOCALLY (not across American borders like many one for one products), as well as give people tangible positivity out of their proactiveness every time they light the candle. A constant reminder amidst the unseen and therefore forgotten reality of growing food insecurity inside American homes. Something that the community can stand behind together.

Reaching the end of Phase 1 and proceeding into Phase 2, Feed the Fire Candles is narrowing down their approach as they enter new sales avenues, all with the intent and belief that we, TOGETHER can have a much larger impact on shrinking the gap between wealthy individuals who don't have to worry about where their next meal comes from, and those who suffer in the result of our inequal economy.

MUCH more to come.